When it comes to effective digital marketing, you’ve probably heard that the more complex the strategy, the better the results. But what if we told you there was an easy way? Plain text emails are making a comeback in B2B organisations everywhere. The same simple emails we used back in the day to exchange with friends and family are once again finding a place in B2B business, generating leads and driving engagement with your prospects and clients.
But why should you consider plain text emails over other types of email campaigns? Let’s explore how they work and why they’re so effective for B2B companies.
What Are Plain Text Emails?
You may want to know: why should I care about plain text emails? Plain text emails are exactly what they sound like. Emails in plain text format. There’s no HTML design elements, no images and no tracking pixels.
But remember, just because it’s plain doesn’t mean it has to be boring! You can still craft a highly personalised communication with your intended target. You have the ability to add hard-hitting personalization to make for an intimate, conversational email. This approach begins to build trust with your readers from the very start.
Plus, plain text has a distinct advantage compared to html content in terms of deliverability. By cutting out design elements and sticking with the basics, you ensure that your emails get through spam filters more often and into the inbox of your intended recipients.
The Advantages of Plain Text Emails
So, why plain text emails. Well, for starters, they’re far easier to write. There’s no need for formatting or designing HTML code. You just say what you have to say in a straightforward and simple way. This not only makes it easier to craft the message you want to send, but also saves time in the long run.
Another advantage of plain text emails is that they’re less likely to end up in your recipient’s spam folder. In some cases, complex emails can be flagged as being suspicious or dangerous by security protocols, making them difficult for customers to access. Plain text emails overcome this issue by having a very low risk of ending up blocked or ignored by these filters.
Finally, plain text can come across as more personal than those with media attached; they feel like messages from one person to another rather than a promotional or advertising email. This is essential if your goal is to start conversations and engage with customers.
Tips for Composing Effective Plain Text Emails
Keep it Concise
When it comes to plain text emails, less is more. These emails don’t need to be filled with endless paragraphs of copy—just make sure you get your point across in the fewest words possible. Get straight to the point!
Brand Your Email Signature
No matter how short your email might be, you still want to ensure that it looks professional when sent. Add a brief email signature at the bottom of each one, such as your name, title, and logo. This small step can make everything look much more trustworthy and credible.
Make sure you personalise each message as much as possible. Addressing the recipient by their name gives a personal touch that will help them feel like they actually have a relationship with you. You can also include other personal and business details, or go even better and highlight a shared experience like an event both of you attended in the past, or something you’re both working/interested in.
How to Track and Measure the Success of Plain Text Emails?
A critical part of any email campaign is tracking. How do you track and measure success? This stage is crucial to understanding its impact on the bottom line, and understanding your ROI. It’s also the only way to ensure that changes to your campaigns are actually improving performance.
Open rate is arguably the most important metric when it comes to tracking email success, as this is what shows you which of your subscribers are actually engaging with your emails. Open rate will vary depending on your industry and other factors, but this is why there is so much impetus on creating incredible subject lines!
The Click-Through Rate (CTR) highlights how successful your campaign was in not only reaching your audience, but generating some form of high value engagement with them. Again, improved engagement and a higher CTR should lead to increased conversions.
Conversion and ROI
This one’s easy, as it applies with almost any digital channel. Conversions are crucial for telling you your ROI. It’s critical you understand what you spent promoting those emails versus what you gained in return. Tracking these metrics will help you determine whether or not sending out plain text emails has been beneficial.
The Limits of Plain Text Emails
You can write a compelling copy with an email. However, there are limitations to each and every digital channel, and email is no exception.
Plain text emails have simple messages. That is their advantage, but also their disadvantage. It’s impossible to attach your brand visuals when emails don’t include any colours, logos, or imagery. Naturally, there are of course lots of elements of your brand you can incorporate through your copy, but from a visual perspective, the branding will be lacking.
Hard to Highlight CTAs
It’s important to include direct CTAs in any email, otherwise all this work is for nothing! A good CTA should be actionable yet realistic; depending on the situation, it can be anything from asking for an appointment or reaching out for more details about their services/products. What matters is that it encourages engagement from start to finish.
Plain text emails naturally don’t have any blaring CTA, like a big button like you might see in structured/style emails or on a website. This can make it easier to miss!
Alternatives to Plain Text Emails
In an incredibly saturated digital word, it is sometimes the most simple channels that can deliver the most striking results. However, there is of course room to spice up your email strategy without going overboard. Check out some of these alternatives email marketing strategies for B2B organisations:
Rich Text Email
Rich text email (or HTML Emails) is one type of alternative that allows companies to use creative layouts and images to grab attention and stand out in an inbox. It also gives marketers scope to do more with typography, images, and colours!
Automation is key to success for many digital marketing channels. Email has the ability to be incredibly automated whilst still building relationships with prospects and customers. Personalised and automated follow up messages are great for those who have difficulty with time management!
Responsive emails are designed to look great across all devices, no matter the size or format of the display. This feature helps B2B organisations ensure that their messages reach all potential leads without any issues when it comes time for them to open the email on whatever device they choose.
No matter which direction you go in, it’s important to remember that quality should always be your priority. Everything else is just icing on the cake!
Ultimately, when done correctly, plain text emails are a great way to engage with your target audience in a personalised, authentic, and cost effective way. They allow you to tap into personal connections and build trust with potential leads. They also show that you are not afraid to get back to basics whilst still producing great results, and are not afraid to challenge the status quo.
If you’d like to learn more about plain text emails, email marketing, and your general digital marketing strategy, contact us here for a free consultation!